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Change you shouldn't have believed in: Special foreign policy edition

One of the essential reads of the week is Eli Lake's "The 9/14 Presidency," an article in Reason that builds off of Lake's years of reporting to make the case that, bluster aside, President Barack Obama hasn't moved national security very far from where President George W. Bush left it. In short:

Obama, like Bush, is committed to a long war against an amorphous network of terrorists. In at least the constitutional sense, he is no harder or softer than his predecessor. And like his predecessor, he has not come up with a plan for relinquishing these extraordinary powers once the long war ends, if it ever does.

Read the whole thing, and read the conservative and liberal responses that have been sprouting across the web. We like to wring our hands and hit our keyboards whenever some veteran of the Bush administration -- some named Cheney, some with other surnames -- issue a "smackdown" against Obama's national security policy. It's good copy, but it's immaterial to how the administration is actually conducting this. I think David Frum has the right take on this:

[S]ome conservative criticism of the president has, ironically, given him undeserved political cover, by enabling him to pretend that he has radically changed Bush administration policies. The true point is that in office, Obama has discovered that those policies were necessary and reasonable.

You’re welcome.

Apology accepted.

By David Weigel  |  April 8, 2010; 1:22 PM ET
Categories:  National Security  
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